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St. Louis River Summit celebrates 10 years of collaboration

Wisconsin Sea Grant is among the sponsors of the 10th annual St. Louis River Summit, March 3-4 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, 350 Harbor Drive, in Duluth, Minnesota.

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve (Lake Superior Reserve) is organizing the event with the theme, “Ten Years and Counting: Collaborating for Success,” which highlights the power collaboration has had in protecting and restoring the St Louis River Estuary. The goal of the summit is to bring together key audiences working in the region to share information about the St. Louis River and encourage coordination of activities and funding proposals.

“The strides we have made toward a delisting of the U.S. EPA-designated Area of Concern (AOC) have benefited immensely from the many partnerships that have been cultivated over the last decade,” said Erika Washburn, Lake Superior Reserve manager. “We hope you will join us to celebrate our progress over the last 10 years and look toward the future.”

A keynote panel on March 3 will feature facilitation by Pat Collins, natural resources program consultant with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Collins has been involved in the setup of the St. Louis River AOC since the beginning decades ago, and will share his insights into progress made, with participation from other professionals involved in the process.

A March 4 panel will feature members of the local news media who will explain how they choose stories to cover and how their coverage of the St. Louis River has changed over the years.

During lunch on March 3, listening sessions will be offered by local congressional staff representatives, and an ecopsychology session will be held by Leah Prussia, professor at the College of St. Scholastica.      

A poster session will take place 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3.  At 6:30 p.m. in the French River Room at the DECC, Vern Northrup, member of the Fond du Lac Tribe of Lake Superior Chippewa, will present, “Akinomaage: Teaching From the Earth.” Northrup will discuss how he uses photography as a tool to educate both himself and viewers about the rhythms of nature, the preservation of tradition, and the relationship between resilience and sustainability.

This evening talk with refreshments is being held as part of the popular monthly River Talk series. These events are free and open to all, however participants will need to pay a DECC parking charge.

College students from local institutions can attend the Summit for free to learn more about the research community and river projects. A student career information lunch will be held on March 4.

Summit pre-registration is required for full-day participation. The cost is $30, which includes lunch and refreshments. Students are free, but need to register. The deadline is Sunday, March 1. To register and view the agenda, visit lakesuperiorreserve.org.

Other initial sponsors include Duluth Pottery, Minnesota Land Trust, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wren Works, LLC.